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The weekly Grimaldi Lines ferry from Barcelona is scheduled to arrive in Tangiers at 23:00 on Sunday.

I don't have a feel for how easy it will subsequently be to get to a (prebooked) hotel. Does the ferry disembark quickly? In the centre of town? Or will we be stuck in a dark port some distance away from anything?

Basically, is this going to be the nightmare start to a holiday that I fear?

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    Not an answer, but according to Google Maps, the ferry terminal seems to be very close to the Old Town. You could enter the address of your hotel to see how close it is. – Mike Harris Sep 25 '18 at 14:05
  • Are you travelling by car? – JoErNanO Sep 3 at 8:37
  • No, I would be travelling as a foot passenger. – Mark Perryman Sep 3 at 9:02
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Grimaldi Lines Serves Tangier Med Port

In the centre of town? Or will we be stuck in a dark port some distance away from anything?

Unfortunately, the Grimaldi Lines ferry arrives in Tanger Med port, which is circa 40km away from the city. Assuming you do not have your own vehicle, there are several other transport options available to you.

Transport Options to/from Tangier Med Port

1. Bus I-3

There is a bus running from the Port in the city centre to Tanger Med. The bus is the I-3 and instructions on how to board it are as follows:

There’s a white bus stop on the national road 16. When you get out of the port, you have to go straight up the road where the taxis are waiting until you arrive to the main road, don’t cross the road, turn right and walk about 200m, and you’ll find a white bus stop, that’s where the I-3 will stop.

The cost is 7 MAD. The bus service is provided by ALSA which runs a website that occasionally has problems displaying content, but on which you can check timetables and costs.

2. Train

There supposedly is a train that runs from the city to the Tanger Med train station, and from there you can catch a shuttle bus to the port.

There is supposed to be a train that runs from the Tangier Ville station to the new Tanger Med station twice a day. For me, they were not at convenient times, so I didn’t try it, but the cost was just a few dollars. Once you get to the Tanger Med station, there’s a shuttle that takes you the additional 3km in to the port.

The train service is provided by OCNF, which runs a website on which you should be able to check timetable and cost.

3. Grand Taxi

Since the port is outside the urban area of Tangiers, you can only use Grand Taxi services to get to/from the city from/to the Tanger Med port. You will have to haggle for the fare and/or to force the driver to turn on the meter. An indicative cost is 200-250 MAD:

If you’re at the train station, the taxi fare should be no more than 200 dirhams to Tanger Med, but like everything in Morocco, you may need to haggle. They may ask for 250 or more, at first. If they don’t come down to 200, just go to the next taxi, or tell them you’re taking the bus for 7 dirhams… that’s a good bargaining chip, and it will bring them down fast. ALWAYS agree on a fare before you get in the taxi. Some taxis may charge you less if you agree to let them pick up and drop off other passengers along the way, though you might as well just take the bus if you’re going to do that.

It is safe to assume that there will be plenty of taxis waiting since ferry arrival times are fixed, and the arrival of a ferry surely brings a lot of business to taxi drivers. It is even safer to assume that most of the drivers will tell very convincingly you that the bus/train isn't running to lure you into their taxi. This is a common tactic in Morocco so just ignore it and move on. Make sure you have researched the bus/train timetable and you are sure they are operating at your time of arrival.

Final Notes

Does the ferry disembark quickly?

It depends on how you are travelling. Passengers usually disembark quickly through dedicated exits. However, vehicle disembark order depends on a combination of boat garage topology and order of entry in the garage. Some are first in first out, others are last in first out. Generally speaking, it can take up to one hour to disembark all vehicles from a large ferry. The time to disembark obviously depends on the number of vehicles, amongst other things.

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